We Know We Belong to the Land - A Hundred Years of Oklahoma and the Congress
The Depression and the New Deal (part 7)
Oklahoma Republicans kept one House seat through 1932. Thereafter, Democrats monopolized both the House and the Senate until 1941. In the 1932-1936 elections no Republican candidate received more than 40 percent of the vote. The traditionally Republican Eighth District rebounded first, almost electing a Republican in 1938 and doing so in 1940. Democrats regained the second Senate seat in 1930; Thomas P. Gore returned to the upper chamber to be succeeded by New Dealer Josh Lee in 1936. Their colleague was Elmer Thomas, first elected in 1926.The pinnacle in Oklahoma committee chairmanships began in the mid-1930s when Elmer Thomas, Gore, Wilburn Cartwright, and Will Rogers led, respectively, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Senate Committee on Interoceanic Canals, House Committee on Roads, and House Committee on Indian Affairs.
Wilburn Cartwright, Will Rogers, and Elmer Thomas
(Left to right) Wilburn Cartwright, who chaired the House Committee on Roads (1934-1942); Will Rogers, who chaired the House Committee on Indian Affairs (1935-1942); and Elmer Thomas, who chaired the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (1935-1944) and later the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry (1944-1946, 1949-1950).  Not shown is Senator Thomas P. Gore who chaired the Committee on Interoceanic Canals (1933-1936).  (Courtesy Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries)
Wilburn Cartwright

Audio Clip: Wilburn Cartwright
Wilburn Cartwright was Chairman of the House Committee on Roads. In 1939 he was a guest on a U.S. Department of the Interior radio broadcast and discussed the developments and achievements in road and highway construction across the United States during the previous twenty-five years.

U.S Highways, Oct. 12, 1939 (Running time in minutes: 3:47 - Part 1, 3:41- Part 2)

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